About Montessori

Montessori education is a comprehensive, developmentally-based approach to learning which has been proving effective for over 100 years. The Montessori method today is based on the research of Dr. Maria Montessori through her work with a wide range of children. In a Montessori classroom children choose their own activities, devoting as much time as they need to each activity and seeking help from the teacher if needed.

Mixed-age classrooms are a tenet of the Montessori method. Both the older and the younger children benefit from this dynamic. The younger children are able to seek help from older and more experienced children, while the older children have the opportunity to reinforce their own learning through teaching others.

Emphasis is placed on experience-based learning using the tools available in the children's "prepared environment." Children in a Montessori environment are not limited to only auditory and visual learning. The many manipulatives designed by Maria Montessori help introduce them to abstract concepts in the way children primarily learn through manipulation and touch. Sandpaper letters introduce them to writing; counting beads to the important skills of numeration, grouping, place value, and arithmetic. Even their senses of taste and smell are involved with tools like scent jars.

A typical day at Secret Garden Montessori will find the children engaged in individual or group activities under the guidance of our loving and experienced lead teacher, Barbette Robillard. She is certified by AMI (Association Montessori Internationale), the oldest Montessori accreditation organization in existence. The children work in one of the five main areas which make up the integrated prepared environment:

Practical Life: Activities which link the home and class, developing grace and courtesy, care of self and care of the environment.
Sensorial: Games which enable the child to order, classify and describe the world through the senses.
Mathematics: Use of manipulative materials allows children to internalize math and number concepts.
Language arts: Oral and written opportunities for expression lead to reading, grammar and drama.
Cultural study: Geography, history and life science as well as art, music and dance integrated into the daily work of the class.

 



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